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Killings: US calls for end to violence in Rivers

As Wike vows to get justice for victims

The United States Consul-General to Nigeria, John Bray has called for an end to the violence and deaths associated with the Presidential and National Assembly elections in Rivers State.

One of Scenes of the post-election violence in the north

Addressing journalists at   Government House, Port Harcourt, yesterday, after a meeting with Governor Ezenwo Wike of the state, the Diplomat decried the violence that greeted the polls in some parts of the state.

It will be recalled that soldiers allegedly unleashed violence on Abonnema in Akuku-Toru Local Government Area of the state where 15 Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, members were killed.  The military also killed two PDP agents in Emohua Local Government Area of the state on Saturday.

He said: “I am here as an international observer.  We have been watching elections in Rivers State.

“I am not here to grade elections or anything like that. I am just here to say that there has been enough violence.

“Enough people have died. I am here today to speak with all the different candidates and party leaders.”

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Wike to seek justice for victims

Meanwhile, Governor Wike said that the Rivers State Government will pursue justice for all those killed in cold blood by soldiers of the Nigerian Army in Abonnema and other towns during Presidential and National Assembly elections in the state.

Wike had alleged that the soldiers were used by the All Progressives Congress, APC, to unleash mayhem on PDP members in the state.

Addressing journalists, yesterday at the Government House, Port Harcourt, Governor Wike said that all those involved in the killing of innocent Rivers people to further the Presidential ambition of their benefactor will not go unpunished.

He said: “Let it be known that those who masterminded the murderous assault on Abonnema and other communities in Rivers State last Saturday have bloodstains on their hands, for which they are all answerable before the Almighty God.

“I wish to assure all and sundry that we shall as a government pursue justice for the families of the victims against the perpetrators of the mayhem, killings and destructions in Abonema, Buguma, Degema and other places no matter how powerful they may seem and how long it may take.”

“I call on Mr. President to please, in the name of God direct the army to withdraw the occupation and siege on Abonnema and Bonny communities so that the people can go about with their normal lives.

“But, like all well meaning Nigerians, I dare to ask: does the ambition of Mr. President to cling on to power warrant the gruesome and coldblooded murder of innocent souls in Rivers State by the Minister of Transportation and his armed gangs?

“Are the people Abonnema and indeed, Kalabari happy with the occupation of their land and the way it was turned to a minefield of killings and destruction by the army on account of someone’s ambition to remain relevant in national politics and hopefully be re-appointed?

“Are the APC leaders of Kalabari, especial Mr. Tonye Cole, Prince Tonye Princewill and Professor Charles Dokubo pleased with the killings and destruction in Abonnema and other parts of kalabari by the army?

“As  I speak, the army are ravaging the entire Abonnema community and killing young men found in their homes.

“At Okrika, APC thugs snatched election materials from four riverine wards to an unknown destination, also with the support of the army. This same scenario was repeated in parts of Ahoada West, Asari Toru, Emouha Degema, and Opo/Nkoro Local Government Areas of the State.

“Again, in the ensuring confusion and anarchy, the army shot and killed a youth corper as well as an Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC’s ad hoc staff in Emouha and Degema Local Government Areas respectively.”

 

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